A Special Kind of Magic, Short Film to be featured at the Garden State Film Festival

BY lyanne


The film making bug has hit the Brick city well at least NJIT.  Students in the Theatrical department with a concentration in technology has taken up film making with their second film entry entitled “A Special Kind of Magic”.  The short films was co-directed and co-written by Rodney E. Reyes, staff and Production Manager at NJIT and Rebecca Jean Cortes, a freshman with a double major in digital design and theatre arts and technology.  Daniel Ovalle – alum who did the music for both films and is a Newark resident. Eric Holzer – sophomore who did sound for A Special Kind of Magic,  is also a drummer in a couple of the music clubs/bands on NJIT campus as well as a double major including Theatre Arts and Technology. Eric’s other passion includes  improv.  Vipin Kannekanti – the final member of the team, is a theatre arts and technology minor and was the production assistant for “A Special Kind of Magic”.

A degree in Theatre Arts and Technology is designed as a stand-alone or as a double major with any other field of study offered at NJIT. The job possibilities cover areas from performing arts and arts development to the career opportunities offered by the additional major, or a combination of both. By using the combined degrees, some career possibilities are: Software Engineer, Story Artist, Theme Park Animator, Technical Director, Producer, Entertainment Technician, Graphic Artist, Designer, traditional theatre areas of work, just to name a few.

We had an opportunity to meet to with the young film makers at their location, the Jim Wise Theater at NJIT, where they shot the short films.    Mr Reyes, shared with us their creative process.   

Question: What prompted you to create the two short films and take on this challenge?

Answer:  Rodney Reyes,  I knew a bunch of independent film makers in New York City, and they wanted to start up a short film competition.  To make it interesting, the contestant would only have seven day to complete the short.  Further each contestant would be given three specific criteria; one was theme for the short, a line of dialog, and a prop that was to be used in the film.  All of the teams in the competition arranged the criteria for the other teams (randomly selected) making the task more challenging.    The first day, we were given the theme, Science Fiction, the line of dialog was “This movie is going to suck”, and was given as a props “streaking draws”.   Dan had just graduated from NJIT and he had experience in music and since it was a science friction  piece, I thought he would be perfect in this role.  The first two days, we spent on writing the short film, the next third and fourth days we filmed at two locations, the fifth and sixth days, we spent time editing and had to have it uploaded by midnight of the seventh day.

“Not Fade Away” was accepted into last year’s International Film Festival in Manhattan winning “Best Short”, and showed at the Alexandria Film Festival in Virginia, the online Creative Arts Film Festival, and the New Filmmakers New York Spring series 2014, in May.   “When the competition came around this  years , we were given the theme of “Mystery, with a props of a Magic Wand, and the line of dialog was “I Literally Can’t Do this Without You”, said Reyes.  “A Special Kind of Magic” will be featured at today’s  NJIT’s Ted Talk presentation, and premier at Garden State Film Festival on Sun, April 6th, 12:15 PM at the Resorts Showroom, in Atlantic City,

NJIT Movie Shorts

The story line for “A Special Kind of Magic”:  On the eve of his wedding proposal, a man begins a quest to find his late mother’s engagement ring in the last place he wanted to go. The only one who can help him is his father, a well-known performance magician, who also happens to be dead. Reyes said, Again we only had seven days to complete it, I thought it would be fun , and the students could get film festival production credit.

The links for the trailers for both films:


<iframe src=”//″ width=”500″ height=”281″ frameborder=”0″ webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href=”″>NOT FADE AWAY Trailer</a> from <a href=””>Fictional Films</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a>.</p>

A Special Kind of Magic:

<iframe src=”//″ width=”500″ height=”281″ frameborder=”0″ webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href=”″>A SPECIAL KIND OF MAGIC Trailer</a> from <a href=””>Fictional Films</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a>.</p>


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